Master of Arts in Work and Labor Policy

(formerly known as Labor and Policy Studies)

The Master of Arts in Work and Labor Policy is designed for unionists, human resource professionals, arbitrators, educators, journalists, political activists, lawyers and individuals involved in government or private industry.

Advance your career by strengthening your communication, analytical and leadership skills. The program can help you become more effective in your present position and prepare you for greater responsibilities, or new positions that involve labor, industrial relations, or human resources.

Emphasis Areas

Students in work and labor policy may create an emphasis in one of two areas:

  • work, workers and labor organizations
  • public-sector employment relations

Program Design

Program emphasis is on current problems and policies generated by changes in the global economy, technology, the work force and the workplace. It also provides a background in American labor relations, labor history, labor law and collective bargaining.

Required Courses (all required courses are residency-based)

  • Work and Labor Studies
  • Policy Process
  • History of Labor and Policy 
  • Research Methods 
  • Current Issues Facing Labor 
  • Labor Law 
  • Policy Formations in Unions or
    The Sociology of Work: Human Resources

Elective Courses

You choose three elective courses (9 credits) to reflect your interests and to reinforce the individual focus of your degree. You are encouraged to use your electives to build a concentration around your final project topic. 

Examples of elective courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Theories of the Labor Movement 
  • Occupational Health and Safety in the Modern Workplace 
  • Labor and International Economy 
  • Environment, Labor and the Community 
  • Women Working in a Global Context 
  • Citizen and State: Contemporary American Politics 
  • Collective Bargaining in the Public Sector 
  • New York State Government and Politics

Final Project

This course is the culmination of your program and reinforces the unique focus of your degree. The project may be a thesis, position paper, case study, collection of related papers, or a practicum. Completion of the final project requires an oral defense and final approval by the dean.

More Information

Program Coordinator: Jason Russell, Ph.D.,

All matriculated students first enroll for the fall or spring residency. All new matriculated students must take the first two required courses, Work and Labor Studies  and Policy Process, which start only in the fall and the spring terms.

Apply for Admission 

To apply for the M.A. in work and labor policy, review the admissions requirements and submit an online application.